Friday, April 12, 2024

NLSIU Announces JSW Grant For Comprehensive Redevelopment Of New Academic Block On Campus

The National Law School of India University announces a grant from the JSW Group for a comprehensive redevelopment and expansion of the University’s core Academic Block & Precinct, as well as the establishment of the ‘JSW Centre on the Future of Law’.

This grant will support the redevelopment of the New Academic Block (NAB), located in the southern part of the NLSIU campus at Nagarabhavi, Bengaluru. The two-storeyed NAB was originally built in 2014 and accommodates lecture theatres, seminar rooms, office spaces and meeting rooms. The JSW grant will help add four floors and redevelop the available two floors to provide flexible and technologically advanced learning and office spaces, along with collaborative research spaces for faculty, students, and researchers. This building will be named as the ‘JSW Academic Block’ and be seamlessly integrated with the surrounding precinct including the recently redeveloped Shri Narayan Rao Melgiri Memorial National Law Library to create the new academic hub of the University.

The grant will also support a new research centre on campus: ‘JSW Centre for the Future of Law’. This Centre will anchor academic and policy research and curricular interventions that explore the effects of new technologies on the future of the legal system, the legal profession and legal education. The Centre will develop new and appropriate models of legal regulation and incubate new technologies that facilitate legal system reform and access to justice. Under the leadership of a Centre Director, the Centre will host doctoral and postdoctoral researchers who will engage with multiple stakeholders including governments, domestic and international regulators, academia, civil society and private sector entities.

“This generous grant, the largest in the University’s history, enables the successful implementation of the next phase of the NLSIU Inclusion and Expansion Plan 2021-25. Under this Strategic Plan, the University aims to expand student intake by nearly 350% to facilitate greater opportunity for all while creating a socially inclusive student body. We are grateful for JSW’s support and commitment towards the growth of NLSIU by developing world class infrastructural facilities for future generations of law students, and fostering new and useful legal research that responds to the technological transformations of our time,” said NLSIU Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr.) Sudhir Krishnaswamy.

Mrs. Sangita Jindal, Chairperson of JSW Foundation, said: “The JSW contribution of revamping the new academic block is going to help to significantly improve teaching quality, infrastructure and access to resources for students and faculty on campus. The legal profession plays a key role in the development and progress of our country since it’s a just society which creates opportunities for growth and distributive justice. As such, education in law plays a key role in shaping the discourse, lawful behaviour and development of norms for a justice loving peaceful society and nation. In the long term, the contribution will significantly impact the lives of graduating students. JSW’s aim is not just to support the skilling of professionals but to facilitate the empowerment of leaders who are committed to serving our country with dedication and excellence."

Commenting on the JSW Group’s partnership with NLS, Mr. Parth Jindal, MD of JSW Cement & JSW Paints, stated “Over the years, JSW Group has been dedicated to promoting education in various forms. The contribution to the Future of Law Centre at NLS enables us to support a critical aspect of dealing with how the law needs to adapt and cope with technological changes. It enables NLS the opportunity to leapfrog and be a leader in these new areas. The advent of new technology in AI, such as large language models, is already revolutionizing the legal field. Technology powered tools are transforming contract analysis and litigation support, making legal processes more efficient. The Future of Law Centre at NLS will be at the forefront of exploring these innovations, developing curriculum and research initiatives that address the ethical, legal, and societal implications of technology in law, ensuring that future legal professionals are well-prepared to utilize and regulate these technologies responsibly.”

About the Architects

In November 2023, the University along with the JSW Group selected ‘Hundredhands’, through a rigorous architectural competition, as the architect for the development of this precinct. Hundredhands is an internationally recognised design studio based in Bangalore. Over the last 20 years, the studio has developed a reputation for carefully considered work which is sensitive to context and celebrates craft. The studio’s portfolio includes masterplans, institutional buildings, housing, hospitality projects and residential and corporate interiors. For the New Academic Block, Hundredhands will be collaborating with A Threshold, a studio based in Bangalore. Their work is predicated on careful observation and their deep understanding of indigenous building traditions. The studio’s on-going work includes residential, institutional and hospitality projects.

Mr. Ashwini Saxena, CEO, JSW Foundation said: “Through a strong field presence, the Foundation operates across 33 districts in 14 Indian States with priority on communities around JSW’s plant & port locations. JSW Foundation also reaches out to communities beyond these locations to contribute towards India’s social development in a meaningful way. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Foundation supported various communities & families by providing food and healthcare facilities across all these locations. JSW Foundation’s holistic life-cycle based interventions have positively impacted more than a million underprivileged people across India.”

About JSW Foundation: JSW Foundation is the social development arm of JSW Group, one of India’s leading business houses. It has a long track record and a rich legacy of empowering rural communities to enrich their lives since the last three decades. The Foundation’s focus areas are Education, Health & Nutrition, Skill Development, Rural BPO, Environment & Water, Sports and Art & Heritage.  The Foundation operates two multi-specialty hospitals in Karnataka & Maharashtra with outpatient potential of 100,000 annually. Its educational interventions have positively impacted more than 140,000 under-privileged children in rural locations while its Agriculture, Women SHG & Rural BPO initiatives have created new livelihood sources for more than 16,000 farmers and 10,000 rural women. The Foundation has provided access to sanitation by constructing more than 7500 toilets in rural villages. It has also helped more than 200,000 needy individuals access Government welfare schemes. The foundation has trained over 23000 youth on various skills that lead to their employment or entrepreneurship. 1400 self-help groups with around 16000 rural women are providing access to credit to the poor. JSW Foundation's work in Art & Heritage is focussed on restoring India’s monuments such as Chandramouleshwara Temple in Hampi, Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue in Mumbai among others. These restorations have been recognized globally and won prestigious international awards.

About JSW Group: The US$ 23 billion JSW Group is ranked among India's leading business houses. JSW's innovative and sustainable presence in various sectors including Steel, Energy, Infrastructure, Cement, Paints, Ecommerce, Venture Capital and Sports is helping the Group play an important role in driving India’s economic growth. The Group strives for excellence by leveraging its strengths & capabilities including a successful track-record of executing large capital-intensive & technically complex projects, differentiated product-mix, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and greater focus on pursuing sustainable growth. With a culturally diverse workforce spread across India, USA, Europe and Africa, JSW Group directly employs nearly 40,000 people. It also has a strong social development focus aimed at empowering local communities residing around its Plant & Port locations. JSW Group is known to create value for all its stakeholders by combining its growth roadmap, superior execution capabilities and a relentless drive to be #BetterEveryday.

About NLSIU: NLSIU was the first National Law University established in India in 1987 to be a pioneer in legal education. The premier law school was set up with a mission to pioneer legal education reforms, and to anchor the transformation of the Indian legal system through research and policy interventions. Over the last three decades, the University has been an innovative leader in legal education and research in India. It has been ranked First among Law Universities in every significant ranking including the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) which has consistently ranked NLS as the top law school for the last six years.

In 2021, the University developed the ‘NLSIU Inclusion and Expansion Plan 2021-25’ which integrates three key strategies: Student Inclusion & Expansion, Faculty & Research, and Finance & Infrastructure. Under this plan, we have already expanded intake across our academic programmes from 190 students per annum (AY 2020-21) to 560 students per annum (AY 2023-24), while accommodating students from diverse backgrounds from across the country. In the last three Academic Years, we have recruited 68 highly accomplished faculty across disciplines from the top universities and have intensified our efforts toward increasing research output. Our physical infrastructure has grown to accommodate the expansion of the University including new classrooms, improved hostels and residential amenities, and a reimagined and redeveloped academic library that is among the best in the country. The University has also adopted and is currently implementing a comprehensive digital transformation of all academic, administrative and residential processes.

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